Out of the Sun
Monday, 15th December 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
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after lunchtime is when we get the best light on the bird table
at this time of year: a strong sidelight from the direction of a
large oak at the edge of the field.
The local sparrowhawk seems to know this too:
it swoops down on the bird table directly out of the sun. As luck
would have it, no birds are feeding and the sparrowhawk stalls,
by spreading wings and tail, a few feet from the table and flies
off over next door's garden, keeping the sun behind it as it goes.
decide to finish the last spreads of my large sketchbook - which
I've had on the go for a year - by drawing the house sparrows
and the blackbird and dunnock
which join them.
tend to gather in the safety of the hawthorn hedge before one of
their number decides to go and perch on one of the feeders. Soon
two or three are will join it. Because there were rats about earlier
in the autumn we've only just resumed feeding. The sparrows have
had to learn to use the plastic feeders all over again.
Blackbird and Dunnock
blackbird swoops in with a flourish of wings and
downspread tail to land on the bird table itself (they never even
attempt to use the feeders). A dramatic entrance that reminds me
of some caped crusader such as Zorro, careering in, sending off
the sparrows as it lands.
also known as hedge sparrows but not, in fact, related to house
sparrows, rarely, if ever, visit the table but diligently search
the flowerbed and patio at the foot of it.
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